Monday, August 18, 2008

The call is coming from inside the house!!

Mondays. Blah. I woke up this morning with the song "Midnight at the Oasis" in my head, but of course I don't know any of the lyrics to that song except the line "midnight at the oasis" which has been playing in a loop in my head for the past several hours. And now I have a headache. Like I said, Mondays. Blah.

I'm thinking the best way to get through Monday is to think about the upcoming weekend. I know it's a little early in the week for that, but desperate times call for desperate measures. So I'm taking you with me....This Saturday, Katherine and I are hosting a bonfire and I am getting really excited about it. The plan for the bonfire is pretty standard: roast marshmallows and hotdogs, sneak off with our crushes and hold hands, and of course tell ghost stories! This is the part I'm looking forward to the most, no offense, secret crush.

People who've known me for awhile know that I love ghost stories. I'm not sure if I believe in ghosts or not, but I will tell you this: when I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, I do. Not because I've actually seen one, but because the atmosphere is right. It's dark and quiet. Too quiet. Ghost quiet. So, for those of you coming to the bonfire who don't have a good ghost story to tell (yet), here's my advice for you. It's the same advice I always give people who claim they don't have any ghost stories:
  • Set your alarm for 2:30/3:00 AM.
  • When you wake up, you'll forget why you set your alarm for that time, but you'll probably realize you have to go to the bathroom.
  • Don't turn the lights on when you get up (first of all, if you do, you'll wake up completely, and secondly, you'll disturb the spooky atmosphere).
  • Stumble down the hall to the bathroom, groping for the door.
  • Think you hear something strange, but don't check it out.
  • Once in the bathroom, look at your reflection in the mirror, but unfocus your eyes a little bit until you think you're actually looking at something, shall we say...otherworldly...
  • Go back to bed and close your eyes really tight.
  • Wake up hours later, convinced you saw a ghost.
  • Tell this story (with embellished details, including a back story of the ghost) at the bonfire.
If that doesn't work, here are some classics:
The monkey's paw
The hook
The baby-sitter

You can tell one of these, just change some of the details, claiming the story is about your uncle, your cousin, or your old neighbor. And of course, say that it's a "true story" as all good ghost stories are. Hold a flashlight on your lap and point it at your face while telling the story - that's a great effect, and not used nearly enough these days. See you at the bonfire! (Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, you're invited!)


Sarah said...

I never thought of ghost stories in terms of their "cautionary tale" status, but after reading about "The Hook," I now wonder what other moral dilemmas these so-called horror stories (didn't Aesop call them fables??) are supposed to be helping us to navigate! :)

Elizabeth Downie said...

I don't know, but I'm thinking people shouldn't be sneaking away from the bonfire to hold hands ;) Something really really really bad might happen. Involving a hook. That's what I learned from the story.

Emily said...

After reading this post, I'm not sure if I can make it to the bonfire after all. What if on my way home while driving down narrow country roads there is a body sprawled across the road? That is one of my biggest fears. And remind me to tell you about how I was driving in Adrian one night and saw the Grim Reaper walking down the center of a city street (totally true). Actually, as I sit in my old scary house typing this I’m pretty sure there is at least a ghost or two reading over my shoulder. I’m not sure I can handle it.

Sarah from band camp said...

I was just thinking, we should start a genre of ghost stories that start like this...

"This one time, at band camp..."


Katherine said...

I can't believe Emily saw the grim reaper! Yikes. I happen to know for a fact that ghosts follow you to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I liked your advice for coming up with a ghost story, though! I'll try it. And stop singing "Midnight at the Oasis!" It's in my head now, too!

Elizabeth Downie said...

Emily, you have to come! :) You'll be ok. You have to tell the Grim Reaper story around the campfire!

Sarah, that really would be a great start to the stories. Did anything scary happen at band camp?

Sarah said...

Not that I recall, but it was sorta spooky, out in the woods in the middle of nowhere, with pranksters a-plenty. I do remember once walking down a trail with (ready for it) Drew Pelletier in the dark and seeing something in the woods, which we had convinced ourselves was a person crouched down, or else a little-person/goblin, and I was pretty freaked out, until someone else came by with a flashlight to reveal that it was, in fact, a stump. :)

Elizabeth Downie said...

Before you revealed that it was a stump, I was going to guess that it was that Rob kid who used to come around our cabin a lot - do you remember him? He fell on a stick and got seriously injured once, but I don't remember much else about him. That part about walking around with Drew was pretty terrifying though! lol ;)

Angela said...

oh my gosh i wish i could come to this bonfire!!!!